The Dish | Sunday Sauce

For those people that know me, you know I LOVE a great crockpot recipe! This one is hearty and delicious during this winter season though I make it year round! It is a crowd pleaser and can be frozen for future meals. I found this recipe on one of my favorite recipe blogs, Half Baked Harvest. If you want to lighten it up, it is delicious on zucchini zoodles (zucchini noodles).

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 pounds bone in short ribs*
  • salt + pepper
  • 6 tablespoon butter*
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled, san marzano tomatoes, crushed with your hands
  • 3/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes drained of the oil
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 sweet onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic skin removed and crushed
  • 1 pieces carrot cut into large
  • 6-8 pickled jalapeños (optional but it gives it just a little kick)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less to you taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper + salt
  • 2-4 tablespoon fresh parmesan cheese + the parmesan rind optional but highly recommended! Whole Foods sells the rinds in the cheese sections which are great to keep on hand in the freezer!
  • fresh basil sliced, for serving
  • fresh hot pasta/egg noodles or zoodles for serving
  1. The night before or the morning of, heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high-heat and add the olive oil. Add the ribs to the skillet and sprinkle with salt + pepper. Sear the ribs on all sides for about 1 minute per side. Remove the ribs and place them in the crockpot bowl.*
  2. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, preferably lighter in color (to better observe the color of the butter so it doesn’t burn) add the butter, melt butter over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Whisk browned bits off of the bottom of the pan and pour all the butter over the ribs.**
  3. To the crockpot, add the red wine, tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrot, jalapeños (if using), basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. If you have a parmesan rind on hand, toss that in the crockpot as well. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours (or 4-6 hours on high) stirring once or twice if possible. After 8 hours remove the short ribs, carrot and parmesan rind from the sauce, discard the carrot + rind and try to get all the short rib pieces out of the crockpot.
  4. Shred the short ribs with your hands or two forks.
  5. If you like a smooth sauce use an immersion blender to puree the sauce or transfer to a blender or food processor and then return the sauce to the crockpot. Stir the shredded short ribs, parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons fresh basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. If the sauce seems too thin allow it to cook with the lid off while you boil your pasta, if the sauce seems just right, keep it covered.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta well.
  7. Serve the warm sauce over a hot a bed of pasta or zoodles.

*If you do not have time, you can skip browning the short ribs and just add the ribs right to the crockpot completely raw, but I find it is best to sear the ribs first for the most flavor.

**If you do not want to brown the butter on the stove, just add it directly to the crockpot. Honestly I never brown it myself and haven’t missed anything.

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